From the National Association of Postmasters of the United States:
On Friday, the House and Senate will take up the Conference Report on HR 3630, legislation to continue the 2% reduction in the Social Security payroll tax through the end of the calendar year. Among the provisions in the bill is a section that provides for an extension of unemployment insurance benefits for long-term unemployed individuals. Up until this morning, it was feared that this extension would be financed through a 1.5% increase in the CSRS and FERS retirement contributions of current employees, and the elimination of the Social Security supplement for FERS retirees who leave employment prior to being eligible for Social Security. In fact, one of the last Conference issues to be resolved was the offset for the continuation of unemployment insurance. Through the relentless efforts of Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), both members of the House-Senate Conference Committee, these proposals were set aside. Instead, the offset for the unemployment insurance provision is a 2.3% increase in the FERS employee contribution for newly hired postal and federal employees, beginning in 2013, for those who have less than five years of federal service. The current contribution rate is 0.8%; new hires would contribute 3.1% under the agreement. NAPUS believes that HR 3630 should come up for a vote, WITHOUT this provision.
Bad ideas don’t go away. So, during the Presidents’ Day Recess period (February 18-26), NAPUS members should contact their Members of Congress to express strong OPPOSITION to HR 3813, which would increase FERS and CSRS contributions for current employees, eliminate the FERS Social Security Supplement and reduce future employees’ retirement benefits. HR 3813 may come up immediately after the recess. Keep in mind that postal and federal employees continue to be easy targets for those who want to squeeze the public service dry.